Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas in London....Cheers!

So our trip to London was fabuloso!!!  We spent 4 days taking in all that London had to offer. I have to say the biggest thing I learned from being there at Christmas time is that we as Americans expect a lot more from retailers then any European country gives. All the stores closed on us early Christmas Eve and almost nothing was open Christmas day.  I guess they think we are nuts with our store hours. It was hard to get kicked out of the Hamleys toy store Christmas Eve before our girls were able to pick what they wanted but we ended up having a really great time in spite of all the closings.

 Across from St. Paul's Cathedral. On the back side was a button that the girls were dying to push. What they thought it did I had no idea but they pushed it and DD2 was covered in water and we had to find a close by restroom to dry her off before continuing for the day. Kids!! lol

 View of St. Paul's Cathedral from the Milennium bridge.
 The London Eye. Very cool to ride on and the views were fantastic from the top.
 Parliment and Big Ben.
 Buckingham Palace...we arrived there just in time to watch the changing of the guard. Really cool to see!
 Of course we had to go to Harrods on Christmas Eve...busy and fabulous!!
 Don't all tourists take pics of the red phone booths?!?!
 Westminster Abbey..simply gorgeous!!
Mr. M and the girls couldn't stop laughing as the horse would not stop biting Mr. M's arm so we could get a pic!! Awww memories from London!!

If any of you have the chance to go to London I highly reccomend going to Hard Rock cafe for a meal, Hamleys toy store on Regent if you have kids and you must go to Harrods to look around, shop and grab some yummy goodies from their food court.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas miracles through the eyes of a child (you will need tissues for this one)

So lately I keep having these mom moments with my kids that make me laugh or cry or smile or even question where they go that from.  I love those moments where your kids do stuff that amaze you or make you so proud it brings you to tears. It seems lately though my kids have been on this roll with the mom moments and I have come to the realization that my kids rule!  Yeah yeah I know I am totally prejudice but I do have proof and here it goes.

Moment number 1: child: Mom can I have some money to play video games?
Me: yes here (handing her $20)
child: That's too much! (gets change and bring me back $15)
Me: (open mouthed) Thanks!

Moment number 2: child: Mom I would like to buy some presents for people but I don't have enough money.
Me: How much do you need?
child: I think $20 is a lot for someone with nothing.
Me: what do you mean?
child: I saw a girl on the other aisle who told her mom she wanted something and her mom said "sorry I can't get you that" So I thought maybe since I have a lot of money and I don't need that toy I can give her what she wants instead.
Me: show me the toy (it was a littlest pet shop house for $39) now where is the girl (she is sitting on the floor looking at more toys and her mom is frantically going through her wallet trying to see how much money she has)
child: excuse me but here (handing the mom the toy and the money to pay for it) I would like to get this for her (pointing at the little girl).
Me: please this was all her idea and she really wants to do this for you and your daughter
The mom: Starts tearing up and hugs my child and runs off to pay for the gift.
child:mom that was the best christmas present ever! (hugs me)
Me: sweety you are the kindest person I know and I am so glad you asked me for the money.

Now if that didn't make you tear up just now then maybe this will...
As we are walking out of the store we see the mom and child waiting at the bus stop to catch the bus. We stop and ask where they are going and if we can offer them a ride. The mom says "yes that would be wonderful thank you" and they both get in. The little girl spends the whole ride telling my child how her mommy said they are going to have the best christmas ever thanks to an angel she ran into at the store.  I about lost it right there but held it together and just smiled at the woman. When we dropped them off we both wished each other a Merry Christmas and the mom once again said to me "I can't thank you enough and I hope you know that you are our angel"
Yes I pulled over at the next street just to cry and to tell my child that she was special.

So have you had any mommy moments lately that not only made you proud of your kid but let you know just how much they actually listen to you when you talk?!

I will never forget this Christmas and the special moment my daughter gave me and that other little girl!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Does Santa come to hotels?!?!

So later in the Summer we decided we wanted to go away this year for Christmas. Honestly, since we have been here in Europe we have lost so many family members and they all seem to be right around the holidays that we have started talking about making other plans to get away from the whole family Christmas thing. Ok I know that probably sounds like a bah humbug moment but really we have lived away from family for so long that it has really never been a part of our lives. However, it was always in the cards that one day we would be close to family and be able to have a big family Christmas again.
 This is just not looking like an option seeing as Mr. M is so close to retirement and yet our family seems to be dwindling smaller and smaller every year.  Yes it's sad and yes we are crushed but more then anything we are really trying to figure out a way to make the holidays really special for the girls despite all the their family being gone by the time they are able to enjoy it.
So the plans to go away began and the plane tickets were purchased and the hotel reserved. The questions to anyone who has been there began to find out the best things to do while there.  We were actually doing this and we were so excited.  The closer it gets to us leaving the more I think how this is the best thing we have done in years.  I was always one of those people who said "I want my kids to wake up in their own home on Christmas morning and be able to play all day with their toys and be left alone" and yet I am not the person that says "where can we go so we don't have to have another day filled with cooking and cleaning and picking up trash all day".  Nice right?!?!
Ok so everything planned out and reserved and mapped and then it hit me......Does Santa go to hotels?!?!  O.M.G.!!!!   How are we going to explain this to our youngest and how in the world will we fit all these presents into our bags without her seeing.  Oh well this is just great on my part!! Duhhh!!
So anywho, I began talking with friends and actually had a very dear friend offer to play Santa while were gone and so the plans began.  She would "watch the cats" for us and we would leave a note for Santa telling him that we were on vacation and sorry we missed him. 
My only worry right now is that something will go wrong and we will come home to an empty house because maybe the weather was too bad for my friend to come and put all the presents out. Maybe the cookies and milk will be accidentally left on the table.  I'm really really dying here and fear that Christmas secrets may have to be broken if this doesn't work out.
Sooooooooooooooooooooooo  what I really am saying folks is......any ideas on how to make sure that we don't burst the bubble for our little one?!?! 
Also, I am thinking about maybe letting the girls have one present each from us while we are gone. It wouldn't be too hard to pack just one present each.
Why is it that I always freak out right before a trip like I haven't spent hours figuring it out and thinking and planning and mapping.  Oyyyy I am not sure why I do but I need some help ya'll so please any ideas or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!!
If I don't speak to you before Christmas then I want to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and I will update with pics of London when we get back. Ohhh yeahhh duhhh I forgot to tell you where we were going.  We are headed to London and super psyched about it.